INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate passed Senate Bill 1, the abortion measure, with a 26 to 20 vote during Saturday’s special session.
The vote followed more than three hours of debate and discussion. The measure would ban all abortions in Indiana except in cases of rape, incest and substantial risk to the life of the mother.
Lawmakers expected to vote on the measure Friday, but the vote was pushed back after debate on amendments Thursday pushed the session past midnight.
Ten Republicans voted against the measure, joining ten Democratic colleagues. Republicans in the chamber mustered just enough votes (26) to advance the legislation.
Lawmakers from both parties spoke against the bill before the vote. Even the author, Republican Sen. Sue Glick, conceded the bill was “imperfect.” She said she was not “100% pleased” with the measure but could “live with it.”
Glick’s hope, she said, was that sending it to the House would make it more palatable to those who opposed it. That sentiment was echoed by other Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Mike Bohacek and Sen. Stacey Donato, who said as much when explaining their votes.
Several Democrats spoke against SB1 during Saturday’s session, with many of them describing the bill as “flawed” and worried about its long-term impact on Indiana, both in terms of women and the state’s prospects at attracting and keeping top talent in the workforce.
Sen. Tim Lanane, a Democrat, urged his colleagues to scrap SB1, saying the deep divisions it exposed among Republicans showed the bill was not ready. He also took issue with the rushed nature of the special session and the lack of debate.
Sen. Mike Young, a Republican, voted against the measure because he said it doesn’t go far enough and is too broad. He earlier proposed an amendment stripping exceptions for rape and incest, although lawmakers voted it down last week.
Republican Sen. Kyle Walker voted against SB1. During discussion preceding the vote, he signaled his lack of support for the measure and called for a “more balanced” approach.
Senate Bill 1 now heads to the House, which will take it up as the special session resumes next week. After approving the abortion bill Saturday, the Indiana Senate discussed inflation relief plans.
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate passed Senate Bill 1 with a 26 to 20 vote during Saturday’s special session.
The vote followed nearly three hours of debate and discussion on the measure.
The Senate meets at 11 a.m. Saturday to vote on the controversial abortion ban bill.
Lawmakers are also expected to vote on the Senate’s version of an inflation relief bill. The House passed its version, which includes a $225 taxpayer refund, with a 93-2 vote Friday.
Bill author Sen. Sue Glick says she does not expect the bill to come back from the House in the same form. She expects additional changes to come from the House.
Sen. Fady Qaddoura, a Democrat, asks for clarification of several scenarios. He also asks about protections for people whose religious views don’t align with the bill’s views on abortion.
Sen. J.D. Ford, also a Democrat, asks if the bill will ban abortions in the state. Glick says she believes it will stop many “elective” abortions and said the exceptions will not stop abortions altogether.
Glick concedes she “has concerns” for the medical community and doesn’t want to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship for the care of the mother and the child.
Glick acknowledges the bill won’t please everyone, notes protesters on both sides of the issue.
When asked by Sen. Greg Taylor (the Senate minority leader) is she considered this legislation “pro-life,” Glick said yes. Taylor also questioned the 8- and 12-week timelines and whether they constituted a “forced” abortion.
Taylor is questioning Glick about the Dobbs decision and the basis for Roe v. Wade. Taylor is also discussing voting rights and the 14th Amendment, which includes the “equal protection clause.”
Sen. Tim Lanane, a Democrat, questions the assertion that this isn’t a forced pregnancy bill.
Glick concedes she’s not “100%” pleased with the bill but “can live with it.” If the bill fails to pass, she said the legislature will come back in January to do it all over again. During discussion with Sen. Eddie Melton, she acknowledges it is “an imperfect bill.”
Democrat Sen. Jean Breaux takes exception with the legislation and says abortion is a complicated decision that should be left up to a mother. She said the Senate Bill 1 is a “flawed bill” that is “backwards thinking” and an “attack on womanhood.”
Sen. Mike Young, a Republican, calls this the “toughest decision” anyone in the chamber will make in their lives. He said he doesn’t have any hard feelings toward anyone who doesn’t view the bill the same way he does. He plans to vote no, although he believes it will pass because “that’s the way the process goes.” He doesn’t believe the bill goes far enough and believes the medical exception is too broad.
Young proposed an amendment to remove the rape and incest exceptions last week. His fellow lawmakers voted it down.
Lanane, speaking once again, said the bill takes away choice. He said it’s clear there are deep divisions on both sides of the issue and members of the chamber simply disagree at the most basic level. He also questioned the process and noted there has been very little support for the legislation.
Lanane said the bill should not pass because some members don’t think it goes far enough and others don’t want it at all. He feels it’s being rushed for the special session and that could result in a “bad bill.”
“We should scrap this bill. It’s not ready to go anywhere,” Lanane said, expressing doubt that the House can improve it.
Ford, speaking again, said the legislature was convened for a special session originally focused on inflation relief that has instead become focused on abortion.
“One week to make a decision that is monumental, we all know that,” Ford said. “Abortion will topple our economy. Healthcare providers will flee our state.”
Ford suggested the legislation will jeopardize women’s care. He echoed Lanane’s call to scrap the legislation and said it was clear “no one” wanted to be there and the abortion bill lacked true support.
Ford was also involved in a contentious interaction with Sen. Liz Brown, who pushed him on what limit he would put on the timeline for getting an abortion.
Ford said he wasn’t a medical provider and said it wasn’t the job of the government to make that decision.
Sen. Kyle Walker, a Republican, said the issue is very “black or white” for some people when it comes to abortion. He believes, for many others, the issue is in a “gray area.” He believes in no restrictions for the first trimester along with exceptions in certain cases (rape, incest, life of mother).
He plans to vote no and calls for a “more balanced” approach.
Sen. Liz Brown, Republican, questions Sen. David Niezgodski, a Democrat, and attempts to get him to put an acceptable timeline on abortions.
Sen. Michael Griffin, a Democrat, leans heavily on his faith as he implores his colleagues to vote against the bill.
Sen. Rodney Pol: “This bill is cruel and callous and wholly short-sighted.” He takes issue with the affidavit required of a rape survivor and the fact that the law requires it to be notarized.
Pol, a Democrat, expresses concerns that the measure will drive some people out of the state and convince others not to move to Indiana for work.
Sen. Shelli Yoder, a Democrat, calls SB1 “cruel” and points that “everyone who testifies hates the bill.”
Republicans have had such a hard time agreeing, Yoder said, because the choice should ultimately be up to women.
Yoder, who considered having an abortion years ago, says she ultimately had the power to choose. Planned Parenthood showed her compassion and dignity, she said. She elected against it but said it was her decision.
Yoder says that choice shouldn’t be taken away by the state.
“SB1 is not a compromise,” Yoder said. She referred to the bill as essentially a total ban on abortion in Indiana and called it “appalling.”
She called the exceptions an “imitation” of compassion.
“A woman should never have to be raped to guarantee her freedom, her reproductive liberty,” she said.
Sen. Vaneta Becker, a Republican who’s served for more than 40 years, says she supports limited government and believes SB1 violates those principles. She said the majority of Hoosiers don’t support the measure.
Becker pointed to Indiana’s poor infant and maternal mortality rates in criticizing the legislation.
She said the legislation didn’t represent the people of Indiana and would “make a mess.”
Right to Life of Northeast Indiana told WANE 15 that they don’t support SB1, saying, “Right to Life of Northeast Indiana still does not support SB1. We are hopeful that, now passed in the Senate, that the House can fix the many issues we see with the bill. We advised our legislators to stand strong for Life from conception to natural death. We recognize formulating legislation is a process and while it may not not be something we can support in its current form, the process may result in a bill we can be excited to get behind. We now shift to encouraging our State Reps in doing the right thing and fixing this bill.”
Glick, in her closing comments, said abortion would be legal in Indiana at 20 weeks without passing the bill.